Ask Katie what a story is and she will tell you it’s the journey. Her craft is getting to know the cast of characters and plotting the beginning, middle, and end of their journey throughout designed experiences and identities. Katie co-founded the Branded Environments group in the Atlanta studio ten years ago. In that decade, she has been integral to establishing the role of storytelling in the studio’s range of disciplines. She and her teams have reimagined engagements as robust listening and immersion in the client’s culture and ideals. Empowered by this insight, they strive to make every single touchpoint they design play into the greater story of a client’s world.
Katie’s first principle is that projects cannot be a reflection of the designer. It’s essential to come to the table without preconceived notions, and she devotes a lot of predesign time to understanding the big picture of a project from the outset. She also makes sure her clients understand the framework and system of the experience they are creating for their audience, so they can participate more authentically in the design. Holding fast to her first principle has been the challenge and the reward of her recent collaborations with students, faculty, and administrators, working together to design a culture of belonging.